This entry’s been a long time coming! As many of you know, April was a ginormous (wow…spell-check apparently considers “ginormous” a legitimate word…what have we come to?) month for Epic. In other words, there’s a LOT to talk about.
But I want to start with this:
THANK YOU. Seriously. THANK YOU. To everyone who posted reviews on Amazon, to everyone who spread the word about the promos Epic had going on, to everyone who did anything whatsoever in support of the series this month, you cannot imagine how unbelievably appreciative I am! For those unfamiliar with what’s been going on this month, here’s the 30-second summary. During the month of April, Epic ran several free promos on Amazon, two with Dawn of Destiny and one with Outlaw Trigger. All in all, over 18,000 copies of the two books were downloaded on Kindle. The goal was to introduce Epic to a wider audience and hopefully draw attention to the series as a whole, now four books strong and growing. The determining factor as to whether or not this worked was whether or not the subsequent books in the series experienced increased sales. So did it work?
This month, with a day left to go, the Epic series has sold over 1,400 copies. It may even threaten the 1,500 mark. Epic has sold more copies in April 2013 than it has in any other year. During its free stretch, Dawn of Destiny reached as high as #14 on the best-selling free Kindle book list for all free eBooks in all genres in America (and seriously, is there a more appropriate number it could have hit than 14?). It also became the most downloaded, as in #1, free eBook in science-fiction. Basically, the doors of promotion were blown open.
April has been a game-changer for Epic, and honestly, for myself. Now, one month is just that, a single month. But what it’s done has shown the potential of what Epic could be. Though 1,400 copies sold in April doesn’t guarantee 100 sales in May, it shows that these kinds of numbers are possible. The goal now is to maintain. That’s the tricky part – the part no one can do for me. I have never been a promotional powerhouse. It’s just not my strong suit. But though the challenge is hard, the goal is worth it, that goal being to achieve true commercial success. For as much as Epic has been able to sustain itself, it’s never been a series I’ve profited from. The profits have always gone into the costs of production. I’ve stayed afloat. The thought of that changing in the positive is very, very enticing. After going at this for seven years, I think I’m ready.
It would be completely inappropriate of me to write all of the above but fail to mention Duolit, the self-publishing duo of Toni & Shannon who took me on as a client several months back. Saturday marked the last of our twelve weekly sessions together, during which we completely remodeled Epic’s platform. It was my “author boot camp.” The challenge with Epic has always been the total lack of marketing savvy on the part of its author, me. It doesn’t matter how sound a series is, if there’s no fuel in the promotional engine, it’s not going anywhere.
I could probably write ten pages worth of praise for what Duolit was able to do with me and the Epic series, but for the sake of keeping this all in one entry, I’ll sum it up with the following: teaming up with Duolit was the single best decision I’ve ever made as an author. In doing their job, they’ve etched themselves a chapter in Epic’s history. If I was one to label chapters, I’d call it The Turning Point. Everything that Epic has become as an online presence is because of the groundwork they laid and the direction they provided. From a redesigned website to the revival of the Epic newsletter, no stone was left unturned. They deserve all the credit in the world for this month and the two months prior. It will be a joy to share with other authors how Duolit saved this series.
So what’s next? Well, quite a bit! Those of you who signed up for the newsletter know that a major emphasis is being placed on pure writing speed, as I attempt to transform from a once-every-three-years publisher to something a bit more speedy and consistent. That’s huge right now. I’ll have some more specifics regarding that soon, but that will once again likely be a newsletter feature, as that’s more a behind-the-scenes issue than a goings-on of Epic one. But to sum it up quickly, there’s a plan being put into place for speed concerns. It’s time to start pumping out literature.
In the meantime, stay tuned. There’s a lot coming up even in the non-Epic realm, including my podcast interview with Mark Elias, the Next Big Thing cast job for Becan McCrae. Look for that to be posted this week (soon). There are also more cast jobs to be done period, so get ready for new faces in the coming months! Though the casting series isn’t my primary focus, it is something I’ll be diving into every now and then, probably in 3-4 character spurts. As always, it’ll be fun!